European Parliament approves tightening of EU's road transport rules

  • 2020-07-09
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The European Parliament has passed the so-called mobility package, a major reform of the road transport sector that is opposed by the Baltic countries and six other member states on the EU's periphery. 

MEPs endorsed a compromise on the mobility package reached in December. 

In addition to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the package was also opposed by Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania.

"The revised rules for posting of drivers, drivers' driving times and rest periods and better enforcement of cabotage rules [...] aim to put an end to distortion of competition in the road transport sector and provide better rest conditions for drivers," the European Parliament said in a statement on Thursday.

The most contentious provision is that requiring trucks to return to their country of registration every eight weeks.

Western Europeans say the mandatory return of trucks will help combat the practice of registering fictitious transport companies in lower-tax countries. 

Lithuanian haulers and the government say that Western Europeans are seeking to push their competitors out of the market and that the mandatory return of trucks will increase road pollution.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has told BNS that the government plans to contest the new rules in the EU Court of Justice if the package is adopted.